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Men's Lacrosse

February 23, 2014

Poets open up 2014 with 9-6 victory over Westminster

Photo by: Tony Leon/ActionWestPhotography.com

WHITTIER, Calif. – The Whittier College men's lacrosse team after playing two scrimmages against Arizona State and Chapman has officially gotten their 2014 season underway Sunday as they used a big first half to defeat the Griffins of Westminster College 9-6.

Westminster who came into the contest 2-0 with wins over UNLV and Utah State fell behind early 5-0 in the first half and despite a big second half run scoring six goals it wasn't enough to stun the Poets at Memorial Stadium. 

Whittier earned the lone goal in the first quarter capitalizing on a man up situation at the 4:15 mark coming from Jonathan Kassity (San Clemente, Calif.) who was fed by Kevin Ewing (Annapolis, MD).  The Poets came out hot firing off eight shots with six of them being saved by the Griffin goalie Chris Burckle but that set the tone the rest of the game as Whittier added another four in the second quarter from Kassity, Aaron Self (San Clemente, Calif.), Maxwell Jones (Firecrest, WA), capped off with an unassisted goal from faceoff specialist Scott Pescheret (Eagan, MN) who took one of his 12 face offs down within ten seconds to put the Poets up five at the break.

Out of the half, the Griffins connected for their first goal from Jake Berard coming from Dominic Conti but the Poets answered on their next possession when Jones was found by Foster Cunningham (San Anselmo, Calif.) in front of the goal for the Purple & Gold's sixth goal.  Westminster would add back to back goals to pull within three at the 9:54 and 6:12 marks but with 23 seconds to play in the third, Hunter Hall (Littleton, CO) connected to put the Poets back up by four.

In the final frame, the Griffins would add the first two tallies from Ethan Gosselin and Eric Crosby to pull within two 7-5 but Whittier would once again answer with two of their own from Hall and Self that put the game out of reach with under five minutes to play despite a last minute goal from Colin Madsen for Westminster. 

Nathan Kleponis (Tustin, Calif.) earned the win between the posts for the Poets collecting eight saves against 14 shots.  Burckle played three quarters and was tagged with the loss collecting 11 saves against 18 shots. 

Whittier took 39 shots on the afternoon and held the advantage on groundballs 39-27.  WC was 12-19 on face offs, while Westminster was 7-19 and the Poets were 17-19 on clear attempts compared to the Griffins 15-23.

The Poets hit the road for four straight road contests as they travel back east to Philadelphia during Spring Break to play Kings (March 15 @ 4:00pm), Albright (March 18 @ 4:00pm), Eastern (March 21 @ 1:00pm), and Cabrini (March 22 @ 12:00pm).